Diplomacy

Modi Tells Trump That 'Extreme Rhetoric' From Pakistan Is Not 'Conducive to Peace'

According to an MEA press note, the conversation was wide-ranging and was “marked by the warmth and cordiality which characterises the relations between the two leaders”.

New Delhi: After Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan spoke about a “fascist Hindu Supremacist ideology” having captured India, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi told US president Donald Trump on Monday that “certain” regional leaders were using “extreme rhetoric” and inciting anti-India violence.

Modi conveyed this during a 30-minute phone call, as per a read-out from the Indian ministry of external affairs. So far, there has been no statement from the White House.

According to the MEA press note, the conversation was wide-ranging and was “marked by the warmth and cordiality which characterises the relations between the two leaders”.

This was the first phone call between the leaders since Trump claimed that Modi had asked him to mediate on Kashmir with Pakistan on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, a claim India vigorously denied. In fact, the first talking point of the Indian media statement says that Modi “recalled their meeting in Osaka on the margins of G-20 summit in end-June earlier this year”.

Also read: In a First, Russia Talks of UN Resolutions on Kashmir

While the read-out did not specify whether Modi spoke about the revocation of special status on Kashmir or the recent UNSC closed door meeting, the Indian prime minister seemed to have complained about the rising rhetoric from Islamabad.

On Sunday, Imran Khan had posted a thread of tweets, both in English and Urdu, that compared India’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh with Nazi Germany.

Khan had also claimed that India’s nuclear arsenal would not be safe in the hands of a “fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist Modi Govt”. The Pakistani prime minister has been issuing multiple tweets on this line since August 11.

According to the MEA statement, Modi told Trump that “Prime Minister stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace”. No names were mentioned in the press release.

“He highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception,” it added.

Modi also conveyed that India was committed to “cooperate with anyone who followed this path, in fighting poverty, illiteracy and disease”.

Besides Pakistan, Modi also discussed Afghanistan, with the Indian leader noting that Monday marked the centenary of the country’s independence.

While it is not known if there was a detailed discussion about the ongoing peace talks, Modi apparently reiterated that India was ready to “work for united, secure, democratic and truly independent Afghanistan”.

Also read: Wary of Global Glare, India Keeps Rhetoric Against Pakistan on Dimmer

There was also a discussion on trade, which remains a source of friction. The US withdraw the generalised system of preferences (GSP) benefits from India in March, following which New Delhi also imposed reciprocal sanctions.

Modi expressed hope that the “Commerce Minister of India and the US Trade Representative would meet at an early date to discuss bilateral trade prospects for mutual benefit”.

Modi will be travelling later this month to attend the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France. While Modi is likely to hold some bilateral meetings on the sidelines, Indian officials haven not yet confirmed he will meet president Trump.